TECHNOLOGICAL ANSWERS
TO RESTORATION

The growing need to preserve our cultural heritage is causing a rise in the demand for increasingly accurate cleaning techniques, featuring high selectivity and low impact.

AREAS OF APPLICATIONS

The main field of application of laser cleaning has always been, from the earliest pioneering evidence, that of stone materials in which the laser is a consolidated reality.

In recent years the use of lasers has been extended, thanks to absolutely satisfactory results, to the cleaning of metals (in particular of gilded bronzes) and wall paintings.

Further experiments are also carried out on silver, ceramics, wood and textiles.

Stone

For a number of years, laser has been successfully used in stone and stucco cleaning, with exceptionally positive outcomes.  Experience has shown that the use of laser allows the removal of decay, usually sulphation, at the same time preserving the oxalate film existing between the decay and the original layer.   This operation has never shown unwanted side effects, therefore it can be repeated, thus contributing directly not only to the preservation of monuments, but also to its periodic upkeep.

Metals

The use of laser in preserving metal works of art in the cultural heritage is more limited than its use in stone pieces, therefore in a way it may still be considered at an experimental stage. The possible use of laser should be assessed each time, following a preliminary diagnosis.

Frescoed surfaces

This is evidently the most delicate operation in which the use of laser is still deeply linked and subject to the results of scientific research. Effective on-site results have been obtained on frescoed surfaces, allowing the removal of the decay, both of the dark kind or light carbonations and a fairly good control of the cleaning process.

Silver

Recently, laser technology has been applied to silver artifacts. Decaying substances have been effectively and quickly removed using fluence values included within parameters considered safe for the work of art. Excellent outcomes have ensued both from the preservation and the aesthetical point of view. 

Wood

In the last few year, there has been an increasing interest in laser cleaning of wooden artifacts, since traditional methods such as chemical solvents may cause a deterioration due to the action of the solvents enduring after the restoration. The wooden artifacts are often covered in natural or synthetic materials to safeguard or slow down their decay.